Filipino movies

Pasay City police deny putting stop to Martial Law film screening

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Pasay City police deny putting stop to Martial Law film screening

'LIWAY.' Glaiza de Castro stars in the autobiographical film set in a prison camp in the Martial Law era.

Liway's Facebook page

(1st UPDATE) According to Police Colonel Byron Tabernilla, officials only went to the venue in response to a report by a 'concerned citizen'

MANILA, Philippines – Pasay City police on Wednesday, September 21, denied allegations that their officials put a stop to a screening of Martial Law film Liway at a barangay covered court the previous day.

According to a Tuesday, September 20 post on the Liway official Facebook page, the Liway screening was supposed to be held at Brgy. 178 in Pasay City on that day, but was “stopped by men identifiying themselves as coming from the ‘Pasay City PNP Intelligence Unit.’”

“The men identifying as police also confiscated materials from the organizers. This all happened on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Martial Law,” the post said.

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The page then linked to a Twitter thread by progressive media network AlterMidya, which showed a video at the covered court where the screening was to be held. In the video, an out-of-uniform man in plainclothes identified himself as coming from the “intelligence unit, Pasay.”

The thread also said that the program was halted despite organizers having a receipt for the rental of the covered court, and that flyers and copies of the publication Pinoy Weekly were among the materials confiscated.

Police Colonel Byron Tabernilla, Officer-in-Charge of the Pasay City Police Station, confirmed that police officials did go to the covered court, but denied that said officials put a stop to the screening.

According to Tabernilla, the officials “went to the covered court only to verify the report of a concerned citizen, who made a complaint about the film showing and mass gathering.” He said the police only wanted to ensure that the event was peaceful and not violating COVID-19 protocols. In a follow-up interview with Rappler, Tabernilla also confirmed that man in plainclothes in the Twitter video was indeed part of the police intelligence unit.

Written and directed by Kip Oebanda based on his own life, Liway tells the story of a young boy growing up in a prison camp in the Martial Law era where his mother, anti-Marcos dissident Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, was detained.

The alleged shutdown of the Liway film screening comes months after independent bookshops like Popular Bookstore and Solidaridad, which carry titles about Martial Law and/or written by Martial Law victims, were vandalized with graffiti, accused of having ties to terrorists and the New People’s Army. The incidents appear to be part of a red-tagging campaign targeting artists and activists. –

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